La BBC parle de Barack à Ottawa


1815 EST Canada sets bar high

Kevin Connolly: Flying back from Ottawa, where Mr Obama’s brief stopover yesterday was treated like a combination of a Beatles Reunion and a papal visit, I couldn’t help noticing the enthusiasm (to put it mildly) with which his every word and gesture was applauded.

The next day’s Globe and Mail (whose coverage was so extensive it kept me going until I was safely back in Washington) even managed to make light of Mr Obama’s opening remarks, which started off with the words « It’s a pleasure to be here in Iowa… er… Ottawa ».

The Globe and Mail found it « easy to forgive » – I wonder if they’d have extended the same latitude to George W Bush.

The same tone of breathless enthusiasm greeted Mr Obama’s use of a single word of French in his news conference – « merci » – which was described as having sent French-Canadian reporters into « giddy delight ».

We can probably expect Mr Obama – who is almost certainly the most famous and the most popular person in the world at the moment – to be greeted with enthusiasm wherever he goes, at least in the early part of his presidency.

Canada has set the bar pretty high.

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février 2009


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